A Cheapskate’s Guide to Navigating Cornell

Being on a college campus as big as Cornell’s can be overwhelming – and pricey. Between paying for Ithaca’s insane rent, and groceries alone, without even factoring in the inevitable extra expenses that pop up in student life, the summer and semester’s earnings can evaporate into the Ithaca humidity much faster than you might like. The Cornell experience is, simply put, a ridiculously expensive one, and it can feel exhausting when there is little financial assistance or leeway on campus — no reasonably priced on-campus dining options, no free laundry or gyms like other universities have, rent prices comparable to major American cities, a PE requirement that somehow costs extra on top of an already staggering tuition sticker price? 

This is my call to all my fellow students who are anxiously waiting for FAFSA to get it together this year. Ask any of my friends and they will tell you that I am the Nancy Drew of locating free stuff on campus. I’m here, and I want to share what I’ve learned over the years.